There has been much discussion on Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new Job Support Scheme (JSS) which is due to start on 1st November. This scheme was announced on 24th September to support those in viable jobs but whose hours or level of work was temporarily reduced. The JSS would contribute 1/3rd of the shortfall of wages (capped at £697.72pm) for employees who will be working reduced hour and the employer would contribute a further 1/3rd of the shortfall, with the employee foregoing the final third. This would be available for employees who will be working at least 33% of their normal (pre-furlough) hours.
This month however, a new, extended scheme was announced. The aim of this is specifically to cover those businesses which have been ordered (due to local restrictions or national legislation) to close completely. Pubs, bars and betting shops in areas such as Liverpool (which was last night placed into the COVID alert: Very High band) will therefore be able to benefit from the new, extended scheme.In that situation, the government will pay two thirds of their employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and will only be asked to cover NICS and pension contributions.
Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
This scheme will begin at the same time as the “normal” JSS, on 1 November 2020. Initially, it has been announced that it will be available for six months but that will be reviewed in January 2021. As with the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.
Further details on the scheme will be published soon but should you have any queries meanwhile in relation to this or any other employment law related query, please contact our Head of Employment, Ilinca Mardarescu.